Last Friday, Netflix was sued by Twentieth Century Fox for apparently poaching two executives.
The two executives in question are Tara Flynn, a creative executive with Fox 21, and Marcos Waltenberg, Twentieth Century Fox’s vice president of promotions. Netflix recently hired the two, prompting Fox to file the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that these hires are part of a plot by Netflix to steal Fox’s executives. The suit goes on to accuse the streaming giant of “a brazen campaign to unlawfully target,recruit, and pach valuable Fox executives by illegally inducing them to break their employment contracts with Fox to work at Netflix.”
Netflix hired Waltenberg in January, a=then later hired Flynn in August. The lawsuit states that Waltenberg’s contract was set to expire at the end of 2016 (though Fox had the option to extend it for an additional two years,) but Flynn’s contract extended through to November 2019.
Netflix certainly doesn’t seem like they will be going down without a fight on this matter,, vowing to fight the matter “vigorously.”
“Fox has suffered great and irreparable harm, including loss of Fox’s ability to contract for a stable workforce, for the disruption of Fox’s corporate planning, and for the injury to Fox’s business reputation and goodwill,” so continues the lawsuit, because of the apparent poaching. “As our complaint explains, we filed this lawsuit because we believe Netflix is defiantly flouting the law by soliciting and inducing employees to break their contracts,” said a Fox spokesperson in a public statement. “We intend to seek all available remedies to enforce our rightss and hold Netflix accountable for its wrongful behavior.”
A Netflix spokesperson has responded to the suit, saying “we do not believe Fox’s use of fixed term employment contracts in this manner are enforceable. We believe in employee mobility and will for for the right to hire great colleagues no matter where they work.”
Whether or not this is ‘poaching,’ employees should have mobility when they want it, especially in this case if Netflix can offer a better position than Fox.